Beauty has never been an important topic in the writings of the major psychologists. In fact, for Jung, aesthetics is a weak, early stage of development. He follows the Germanic view that ethics is more important than aesthetics, and he draws a stark contrast between the two. Freud may have written about literature a bit, but an aesthetic sensitivity is not part of his psychology.
I think the worst atmosphere for a six-year-old is one in which there are no expectations whatsoever. That is, it's worse for the child to grow up in a vacuum where "whatever you do is alright, I'm sure you'll succeed." That is a statement of disinterest. It says, "I really have no fantasies for you at all."
A mother should have some fantasy about her child's future. It will increase her interest in the child, for one thing. To turn the fantasy into a program to make the child fly an airplane across the country, for example, isn't the point. That's the fulfillment of the parent's own dreams. That's different. Having a fantasy - which the child will either seek to fulfill or rebel against furiously - at least gives a child some expectation to meet or reject.
Psychotherapy makes every problem a subjective, inner problem. And that's not where the problems come from. They come from the environment, the cities, the economy, the racism. They come from architecture, school systems, capitalism, exploitation. They come from many places that psychotherapy does not address. Psychotherapy theory turns it all on you: you are the one who is wrong.
I like to imagine a person's psyche to be like a boardinghouse full of characters. The ones who show up regularly and who habitually follow the house rules may not have met other long-term residents who stay behind closed doors, or who only appear at night. An adequate theory of character must make room for character actors, for the stuntmen and animal handlers, for all the figures who play bit parts and produce unexpected acts. They often make the show fateful, or tragic, or farcically absurd.
'Mediocre' tends to mean 'undistinguished', while snobs enjoy their distinguishing hallmarks of style - how they wear clothes, use words, where they go and gather and gossip. ...Whatever the circumstances the genius has put you into, the fact of individuality defends the soul against all class-action claims. No soul is mediocre, whatever your personal taste for conventionality, whatever your personal record of middling achievements.
In the cosmology behind psychology, there is no reason for anyone to be here or to do anything... I'am an accident - a result - and therefore a victim... if I'm only a result of past causes, then I'm a victim of those past causes.... or, if you look at it from the sociological perspective, I'm the result of upbringing, class, race, gender, social prejudices, and economics. So I'm a victim again. A result .
We would like otherworldly visitations to come as distinct voices with clear instructions, but they may only give small signs in dreams, or as sudden hunches and insights that cannot be denied. They feel more as if they emerge from inside and steer you from within like an inner guardian angel. . . . And, most amazing, it has never forgotten you, although you may have spent most of your life ignoring it.
How can Hitler, or some other murderer, appear in this world? I don't think any single theory can account for the phenomenon, and I think it's a mistake to try to reduce it to being brutalized by your parents or having grown up in some horrible situation - like Charles Manson.
One strand of psychotherapy is certainly to help relieve suffering, which is a genuine medical concern. If someone is bleeding, you want to stop the bleeding. Another medical aspect is the treatment of chronic complaints that are disabling in some way. And many of our troubles are chronic. Life is chronic. So there is a reasonable, sensible, medical side to psychotherapy.
There is more in a human life than our theories of it allow. Sooner or later something seems to call us onto a particular path. You may remember this "something" as a signal moment in childhood when an urge out of nowhere, a fascination, a peculiar turn of events struck like an annunciation: This is what I must do, this is what I've got to have. This is who I am.
Why do we focus so intensely on our problems? What draws us to them? Why are they so attractive? They have the magnet power of love: somehow we desire our problems; we are in love with them much as we want to get rid of them . . . Problems sustain us -- maybe that's why they don't go away. What would a life be without them? Completely tranquilized and loveless . . . There is a secret love hiding in each problem
Aging is no accident. It is necessary to the human condition, intended by the soul. We become more characteristic of who we are simply by lasting into later years; the older we become, the more our true natures emerge. Thus the final years have a very important purpose: the fulfillment and confirmation of one’s character.
Everything that everyone is afraid of has already happened: The fragility of capitalism, which we don't want to admit; the loss of the empire of the United States; and American exceptionalism. In fact, American exceptionalism is that we are exceptionally backward in about fifteen different categories, from education to infrastructure.
The new age self-help phenomenon is pretty mushy, but it's also very American. Our history is filled with traveling preachers and quack medicine and searches for the soul. I don't see this as a new thing. I think the new age is part of a phenomenon that's been there all along.
Your life is not predestined, as in Calvinist thought, where everything is written down in the book of life long before your birth and is inescapable. There are choices, accidents, hints and wrong paths, and the ego you, or whatever you call yourself, is a factor in all this. But there is still this other factor that keeps calling. At some moment, people turn, in despair or when they are unable to go any longer on a certain route, and this inner voice says, "Where have you been? I've been waiting for you to turn to me for a long... Read more »
Of course, a culture as manically and massively materialistic as ours creates materialistic behavior in its people, especially in those people who've been subjected to nothing but the destruction of imagination that this culture calls education, the destruction of autonomy it calls work, and the destruction of activity it calls entertainment.